Musashi #9 Vol. #04 (

By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Release Date: Thursday, September 01, 2005

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Takahashi Miyuki
Translated by:Tony Ogasawara
Adapted by:Tony Ogasawara

What They Say
When stolen launch codes of American ICBMs accidentally fall into the hands of a Japanese high school student, Musashi #9 goes into action alone! But this innocent schoolgirl is not Shinozuka's only responsibility - she is already protecting a teenaged boy whose affection for her is growing by the hour. Can Musashi #9 complete her duty without becoming distracted by feelings she's unable to deny?

The Review
No. 9's mission in high school is far from over even though the kidnappers and assassins have been eliminated. But now the young secret agent has an even bigger mission and favor to fulfill for another friend.. The missions Ultimate Blue take on have been known to change the course of history. So to guard the life of a young man might not compare to reclaiming nuclear missile launch codes. To the individual members of Ultimate Blue, though, both are equally important. So when duty calls these agents do their best to cover each other to complete what they set to accomplish no matter how significant the job might seem relatively. Therefore, the best will take care of the best. Single digits will cover for each other at school or against the Pentagon. And those who get to experience UB in action will soon come to learn why this group is considered the other(/better) UN.

As a reader after the previous volume I was pretty sure that Takahashi was going to take her lead out of the current context as a student guarding an important witness. The life of an international girl of mystery should be placing No .9 around the globe saving small nations from their own destruction. No. 9 should be back in Russia collecting nuclear grade plutonium or the i slands of Indonesia resolving the latest separatist clash. I would love to see this become more of a Bond/Golgo story for women.

Takahashi does all that and gives her lead time to be "normal" also. I this volume, No. 9 continues her mission through the aide of other agents of Ultimate Blue. And as such, she is now able to take one the US military from the "safety" of an all-girls catholic school in Tokyo. For once No. 9 can put on a skirt, let her long her go and even have girl friends while still undercover. And as we watch her go through her investigation we can see her casual side. She talks to classmates, hangs out in the gym and takes on the school bullies without missing a beat and blowing her cover. And at the same time, the pacing, particularly because of the layout, almost made me forget this is a thriller. Even the tense moments were pretty playful and that really is a testament to Takahashi's talent to make her cold characters accessible.

Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: CMX
MSRP: 9.99
Pages: 176
ISBN: 1-4012-0543-7
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left